WWDC 2012: Apple keynote liveblog

Apple’s annual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) kicks off today with a keynote address from CEO Tim Cook and company. This year, Apple is expected to make announcements about  iOS 6, Mountain Lion, iCloud, and fresh Mac and MacBook hardware. (Check out our full round-up of predictions.)

WWDC predictions: A new iOS, Mountain Lion date, and iCloud updates

Spoiler alert! Apple is going to announce things on Monday morning at a keynote address kicking off the annual Apple World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC). Since speculation and rumors are half the fun (and annoyance) of reporting on Apple, we’ve collected some of our predictions for the big event.

Tour the updated Google Search iPhone app… with bunnies

Google released an update to its Google Search iPhone app today, adding a few small features and tweaks that should make searching faster and more intuitive. Let’s take a visual tour of what’s new in the app by searching for my favorite animal, the angora rabbit.

Google+ wants to be your new Flickr

Google+ is succeeding in small bursts, feature by feature. As a social network competing with Facebook it’s a flop, but its video-chat tool Hangouts is a winner. Now photo sharing is poised to be the service’s next breakout hit, thanks to an enthusiastic community of photographers who like the focus on attractive full-size images, Google+’s new photo-centric iPhone app, and a uniquely Google passion for metadata.

Google gives Cornell’s NYC tech school free space in its headquarters

Google is donating 22,000 square feet of its New York City office to CornellNYC Tech for classes and other uses, Mayor Bloomberg and Google announced today. The science and engineering school won the bid to become a Stanford of the East back in December, and this partnership with one of the largest and most influential tech companies gives it a running start.

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The new Bing is here, start peppering your friends with questions

A week after previewing the revamped Bing, Microsoft has released the latest version of its search engine to people in the U.S. Head over to Bing.com/new to test out the new social features as well as annoy your friends with questions in the process. It doesn’t have all of the new bells and whistles announced last week, and you can only sign in with a Facebook or Windows Live account — though Quora, LinkedIn, and Twitter support should be coming soon.

WeWork Lab’s hip SF pre-incubator space opens its doors

A new type of office space for tech startup-hopefuls is opening its doors in San Francisco today. Falling somewhere between a co-working space and a full startup incubator, WeWork Labs is a “pre-incubator” — or as we’ve taken to calling it at VentureBeat, a pincubator.

Meet 500 Startups’ new batch of startups

Startup accelerator 500 Startups announced its fourth batch of companies on Wednesday, a fun group that includes a necktie subscription service, a Dropbox-based collaboration tool for creatives, a consumer-action site currently trying to take down Big Cable, and a property-inspection iPad app.

A Silicon Valley law firm loosens its tie, opens collaborative space in SOMA

Law offices bring to mind power suits, closed-door corner offices, serious conversations, and clients getting billed for every minute of advice. Collaborative work spaces with lounges, foosball tables, communal desks, and fun networking events are the bailiwick of hoodie-filled startups. But what if a law firm started acting like a startup?

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New ‘Action Links’ make third-party Facebook apps more interactive

Following in the steps of its “actions,” Facebook on Wednesday introduced a new Timeline tool for third-party applications called action links. These customizable links will appear below an app’s post on your timeline or news feed alongside the links for Like and Comment. You’ll start to see the new links immediately on full web versions of Facebook, but they’re not on mobile.

Six tips for creating a killer brand for your company

There are misconceptions about how important branding it is to success, how much work it takes, and the best ways to approach it. But every company, from a fresh-faced tech-startup to Apple, knows good branding can make a product or service.

Apple and Google potential additions to Dow Jones index

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has featured the same 30, large publicly traded companies since 2009. The stock market landscape has shifted significantly in the past three years, and now big tech companies like Google and Apple could be considered for a spot on the elite list, according to business publication Barron’s.

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Planetary Resources officially kicks off its asteroid mining venture

Following a few days of excited build-up, Planetary Resources, a new space startup backed by heavy hitters including Larry Page and James Cameron, officially announced its plans to mine asteroids near Earth. At the Tuesday morning event, which took place at the packed Space Gallery in the Museum of Flight in Seattle, the company said it would launch phase one of its mission within two years and use the next decade just to identify resource-rich asteroids.

It’s like fantasy football, but for politics junkies

Fantasy football is a huge and very lucrative multibillion-dollar industry in the United States. Politics are equally competitive and ruthless, and its fans just as passionate, but it lacks the fun as well as obvious way to profit (you know, unless you’re a politician).

JockTalk brings pro-athletes and fans closer together

JockTalk is a social network for sports nuts and the professional athletes they love (or perhaps love to hate). The new site, announced today at the DEMO Spring 2012 conference in Santa Clara, Calif., combines profile pages, back-and-forth conversations, and original sports content.

NetworkClean does give a damn about your bad reputation

NetworkClean, a new tool that scans your Facebook profile and flags anything it finds that could damage your reputation, thinks I should tone it down with the booze talk, aggressive and offensive lingo, and naughty adult-content on my Facebook profile. I admit, I was a bit surprised at the findings, but not so much that I had to put down my glass of pinot.

TourWrist’s 360-degree panoramas add another dimension

Remember virtual reality tours, those 360-degree panoramic photos you could navigate with your mouse? They were hot for a while, popping up on every real estate agent and hotel site, but the low quality and jerky navigation made them feel antiquated and oh-so Web 1.0. TourWrist began reviving the art form last year by taking it mobile and adding a slick user interface.

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New Found app is a one-stop search for your files in the cloud

Found is a neat new Mac application that wants to be like OS X’s Spotlight, but for all the files you have stored across cloud services, including Dropbox, Google Docs, and Gmail. Currently in beta, Found is aiming for a mid-May release in the Mac App Store, where it will be free.

ValCom sues Megaupload for millions over copyright infringement

What will happen to file-sharing company Megaupload’s $42 million in seized assets? Founder Kim Dotcom is scraping by on a monthly stipend of $48,500 (taken from the interest on Dotcom’s $10 million in New Zealand government bonds) but the rest of the company’s warchest is a tempting target for companies that can prove copyright infringement.

Facebook photos go high resolution and full screen

Facebook is continuing its quest to appeal to photographers with a couple of new improvements to its photo-viewing features. You can now enjoy your photos in glorious full-screen mode, and Facebook automatically shows the high-resolution version of your image.

How scientists can manipulate us with games to gather data

Smartphones have turned us into an army of accidental data collectors, checking in at locations, taking photos, recording audio, even gauging network speeds wherever we go. This rich data can be used for research, but because people are creatures of habit, there are sometimes gaping blind spots.